Gizmo5 Founder: Skype-for-SIP Is Vaporware

ceomichaelrobertson002jpgMichael Robertson, founder of Gizmo5, which recently released a service that enables free calls to Skype called OpenSky, calls the new Skype-for SIP service vaporware.

It’s great to see Skype inching towards a more interoperable world with their Skype for SIP service. Even if this is complete vaporware at least their heart is in the right direction. Last year they announced Skype for Asterisk which is still not yet released and it’s unclear what the pricing will be. Skype For SIP is similar in that it is not yet available and pricing details are murky but both are steps in the right direction.

Hard to dismiss Michael’s argument, though one has to point out that Skype for SIP does impact his business. Fellow VoIP Blogger Tom Keating heard from a Skype spokesperson:

“The product is available now. It’s using the same Skype technology that has been tested & deployed for the last 5 years. He’s saying December 2009 – that’s not the case.”

(Head-to-head comparison between two services below the fold.) Read More about Gizmo5 Founder: Skype-for-SIP Is Vaporware

How to Build the Perfect Set-Top Box

It’s the holidays — a time to give, right? Right. Which is why I’m making a list of what I’d like someone to give me this year. This isn’t a gift guide (I’ve already written one of those), but more of a fantasy. I’m making a list of all the features I’d like to see in the perfect set-top box.

What does the perfect set-top box do, you ask? A little bit of everything: It’s a DVR that records my favorite shows. It’s a media extender that lets me watch the video content I have stored on my PC. In a true fantasy world, it also replaces my cable box (but still lets me access my cable provider’s On Demand library) and plays back Blu-ray Discs.

Remember, this is a fantasy. I know that it’s not possible to get everything I want; some of the technology is simply not ready. But some of these features should already be options, such as the first item on my list:

EASY SET-UP/NETWORK CONNECTIONS: It shouldn’t take four days, a box of power tools, and repeated calls to tech support to install anything — never mind a gadget that I’m going to use to watch TV.
Read More about How to Build the Perfect Set-Top Box

SIPphone Makes The Call To Jajah

Jajah, in its effort to become a backend platform for VoIP services, has started offering call termination, billing and other such services to one and all comers. They got a big boost when they signed up YahooNow, the Sequoia Capital-backed company has signed up SIPphone, the company behind Gizmo and will handle their call termination. Does this mean Gizmo’s call quality will increase? I certainly hope so – I have stopped using the service because of poor quality of voice.

Instead, I have opted for RingCentral, which recently introduced a Mac OS X soft client (in addition to a PC version) and it is doing a might fine job for me. I was highly skeptical of RingCentral in the past but they have won me over with their high quality service. (Full review, pending!)

Soft phones – whether they are from RingCentral, Vonage, Gizmo or Skype extremely useful. I almost never am close to a landline, but an internet connection is always handy. Using soft phone, I can make quick calls without really breaking away from the computer screen. I am not alone in professing a liking for Softphones. A Frost & Sullivan report says that as a percentage of total IP-telephone market soft phones share will increase from 5 percent to 20 percent by 2014. Softphone sales rose to 416,000 units, worth $18.9 million in 2007, up 30% over 2006.